15 Responses

  1. Appreciate the irresistible mythological allusion, but the Phoenix program has by no means been in ashes. The fusion centers are domestic equivalents of the Phoenix Centers, and they’re hard at work decapitating any semblance of independent civil society.

    • agreed. I was hoping to hear James’ guest make that connection, and maybe he did and I missed it, but I don’t remember him doing so. absolutely. they reinstated Phoenix in Iraq and Afghanistan which many understand and readily admit to, but what they don’t seem to get is that it was brought here to the U.S. via Homeland Security and the Fusion Centers.

  2. Some quick thoughts:

    [1] Israelis have waged a Phoenix program against Palestinians since 1947.

    [2] American culture is so saturated with militarism and imperialism that even “anti-war” films such as “Platoon” (1986) and “Apocalypse Now” (1979) include jingoism, flag waving, and “Hooray for our team.”

    [3] When author Douglas Valentine mentions that the US established a “Catholic” regime in South Vietnam in 1955, this had nothing to do with religion. Vietnamese “Catholics” were rich right-wing elitists (as are rich fascist Catholic elitists in all nations). They took power when the Japanese left, just like the rich fascist elitists did in South Korea. Their opponents (i.e. average people in North and South Vietnam) were freedom fighters and nationalists. Since the opponents received some aid from the USSR, Americans call them “ebil VC Kommies.” Even Mr. Valentine calls them “Communists.” This again shows how much US culture is saturated with imperialism and neoliberalism.

    [4] The war on Vietnam was waged by Kennedy and Johnson (i.e. “liberal” Presidents) just like “liberal” Obama’s wars. As always, there is no difference between fake leftists and fake populists. Why? Because – again — American culture is utterly saturated with militarism and imperialism.

    • Agreed, but I don’t see Apocalypse Now as a ‘yay for our side’ film, unlike most other Hollywood puff pieces

      And it seemed to me that JFK was at least trying to scale back the Company activities in Vietnam when he wacked the Diem brothers… and incurred the wrath of Lansdale.

      • “Apocalypse Now” was not pro-war. I only meant that it included some pro-war elements. Colonel Kurtz tells Captain Willard how villagers hacked off the arms of children who had been inoculated by US troops. Kurtz says, “My God, the beauty of that. The strength! If I had a brigade of men like that, our troubles here would be over very quickly,” meaning the struggle against dem ebil Kommies. And let’s not forget the rousing helicopter attack.

        Average Americans have not had to pay any serious price for war for the last century. Hence they regard war is a team sport. That’s why football games have commercials for the military.

        Regarding JFK, he should never have escalated the war. Ironically Nixon won in 1968 partly because he ran to Humphrey’s left, as an anti-war candidate of sorts. And Nixon actually did wind down the war late in his second term, such that the war officially ended eight months after Nixon resigned.

        I’m just saying that (especially these days) there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to war, imperialism, and neoliberalism. Anyone who claims otherwise is a fake leftist and an a-hole.

        • The helicopter attack scene on the vietnamese village, on «Apocalypse Now», is the most pro-war I have ever seen on cinema. That is why I did not like the film. It praised America’s war on Vietnam, which was abomination.

          • Yeah, I get how the helicopter attack could be seen as pro-war, at least it was in the movie Jarhead. But it certainly doesn’t make our army look glamorous… destroying an elementary school in order to surf.

            Apocalypse Now does hint at one of the dirty secrets: CIA was running both sides. I think that’s why it’s different than most war movies.

            • he was there to kill a general who was winning the war. he ran through a country of chaos and confusion run by U.S. military degenerates and psychos. and he was a degenerate and a psycho. I have a hard time believing anyone who suggests based on all of that… one helicopter scene made Apocalypse Now a pro-war movie. the only thing I question about the movie is whether or not they would have given him the order to kill Kurtz. Kurtz was what Special Ops are now and what they were back then. I guess they wanted to suggest a leader of a death squad like that could go “too far” but we all know, that isn’t the case. that’s the only weakness in the plot for me.

              • My take on the plot was that CIA ordered the hit on Kurtz only because he’d started killing local CIA assets (ARVN officers/VC “spies”), and was becoming bad for business as well as the unconventional warfare exercise (i.e., recruiting the Special Ops guys sent to kill him).

        • I’m not saying JFK was a saint. But I think it’s self-evident that he was not just another run of the mill ‘fake leftist’.

    • I have to admit, I also took exception to his referring to them repeatedly as the “communists”. It weakened his argument because that wasn’t what their resistance was about.

  3. This is some what related to death by government (I am using this very loosely because I don’t know if these allegations can be true but I digress)


    Apparently according to amnesty international 13,000 people have been hung in Syrian jail cells since 2011. I don’t know if these allegations are completely true because why would Assad offer tens of thousands of rebels amnesty then?

    I might get flak for this but, is it possible this is all just a ruse? In every war, war crimes do occur, and its possible that both sides have committed atrocities, but it makes no sense then to give tens of thousands political pardons and allow them to return to Syrian life as if nothing happened.

    Scott I hope you understand what I am trying to get at.

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